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The Boston Globe
BROCKTON — Frantz Polynice hadn’t been himself.
After enrolling in nursing school in September, the 18-year-old Polynice quickly dropped out, slipped into a depression, and wouldn’t eat or drink, authorities said.
His family decided to send him home to Haiti, but when his mother, Mania Meneide, drove him Tuesday to Logan International Airport, Polynice refused to get of the car, a police report said.
“Frantz did not want to go to Haiti at all,” his grandmother told investigators, according to the report.
On Wednesday, prosecutors allege Polynice stabbed Meneide, 44, to death in their Brockton home after she returned home from her overnight nursing job in Milton.
“We’re dealing with a terrible, tragic situation where an 18-year-old person murdered his 44-year-old mother,” Plymouth District Attorney Timothy J. Cruz said Thursday after Polynice’s court appearance. “How do you get your arms around that?”
Polynice was arraigned in Brockton District Court on charges of murder and assault and battery with a dangerous weapon. Not-guilty pleas were entered on his behalf.
Defense attorney Jason Benzaken declined to contest a request that Polynice be held without bail. His next court date is Dec. 20.
Polynice was home with Meneide and his grandmother, Rose Pierre, 67, at about 12:45 p.m. Wednesday when he pulled a knife out of a kitchen drawer and began attacking his mother, authorities said.
The confrontation occurred after Meneide begged her son to eat or drink something, according to a report written by State Police Trooper Matthew D. Hoss.
“Leave me alone with your food,” Polynice was quoted as telling Meneide.
She managed to wrestle the knife away from Polynice, but he regained control and stabbed Meneide about 10 to 15 times in the face, neck, and torso, authorities said. She was taken to Signature Healthcare Brockton Hospital, where she was pronounced dead at about 1:36 p.m., according to Cruz’s office.
The neighbor, Maryanne Monteiro, said she went to check on Pierre after she saw her wailing in the street. Pierre gave Monteiro her cellphone and pulled her toward Pierre’s home as she repeatedly said, “911,” Hoss’s report said.
Pierre went inside the house as Monteiro, following, called authorities.
From the threshold of the door, Monteiro said she saw Polynice walk toward her and Pierre.
“I’m like, ‘OK he does not look right,’ ” Monteiro said Thursday in an interview. “I started backing off and then he picked up the pace and came running. I just grabbed [Pierre] and I ran like hell out that house and just pulled her down the driveway.”
Firefighters found Polynice covered in blood and “shaking uncontrollably” on the porch steps, a Brockton police report said. When asked whether he was hurt, Polynice responded: “She is inside,” the report said.
A firefighter restrained Polynice, who was bleeding from his left hand, and seized a large, bent knife, authorities said.
Pierre told police Meneide had recently taken Polynice to see a doctor, who gave him medication to help him sleep but couldn’t find anything amiss, Hoss wrote. She told officers a “bad spirit” was coming out of her grandson, the Brockton police report said.
Calvena Devoe, whose son Jordan is friends with Polynice, said she knew of no trouble signs. Polynice completed evening school at Edison Academy in the spring, according to a Brockton Public Schools spokeswoman.
“He went through some stuff sometimes, but I would never think that he would kill his mother,” Devoe told reporters after Polynice’s court appearance. “It’s just really hard to believe what would be going through his mind.”
She said Polynice didn’t get along with Meneide’s boyfriend and seemed isolated at times, but had plans for his future.
“I feel for his grandmother because what is she going to do now?” Devoe asked.
Meneide’s ex-husband, Yves, said he helped his former wife bring Polynice to the United States after they married. Polynice’s father, he said, had been assassinated in Haiti.
“He never gave me any trouble,” Yves Meneide said in a telephone interview. “Mania and I had some good times together.”
A small memorial including a candle, rosary beads, a sympathy card, and a teddy bear was on display Thursday outside the home where the killing occurred.
Monteiro said Polynice looked like a “zombie” as he came toward her and Pierre.
“I still can’t process it,” she said. “That was extremely scary. It’s not a moment I want to relive again any time soon.”
Globe correspondent Felicia Gans contributed to this report. Laura Crimaldi can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow her on Twitter @lauracrimaldi.